Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Standing Cow Redux

Still holding up well.



Filed in: Art, Misc Images | Comments

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Snow on the Organs

A very light light sprinkling of snow on the Organ Mountains this morning.

This is our first significant moisture in at least 60 days.

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Reflections in a Pecan Wood

Research has indicated the best way to irrigate pecan trees is flood irrigation. This may appear to be an inefficient use of water, but this method leads to deep irrigation that encourages the tree roots to grow deeply. The water available to the deep roots reduces the need for surface irrigation.

In Doña Ana County we have over 18,000 acres of pecan orchards. So this time of the year the back roads of the Mesilla Valley stretch through thousands of pecan fields being irrigated.

The symmetrical planting of the trees creates endlessly fascinating views. But when you add the spectacular effects of sunlight glistening through the leaves and branches, and the reflections in the waters below, you have some of most remarkable visual delights ever seen.

These photos were taken today of a pecan field being flood irrigated. Click on each image for a larger view. It’s almost impossible to determine where reality ends and reflection begins.

Other pecan posts:

Pecans — The Cadillac of Nuts
18,000+ Acres
Pecan Harvesting
Pecan Pruning

Tags: ,

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Man Killed by Chilli

“An aspiring chef died after eating a super-hot chilli sauce as part of an endurance competition with a friend.”

“Andrew Lee, 33, challenged his girlfriend’s brother to a contest to see who could eat the spiciest sauce that he could create.”

“The fork-lift truck driver, who wanted to cook for a living, prepared a tomato sauce made with red chillies grown on his father’s allotment. After eating it, however, he suffered intense discomfort and itching. The following morning he was found dead, possibly after suffering a heart attack.”

“He apparently got into bed at 2.30am and started scratching all over. His girlfriend scratched his back until he fell asleep. She woke up and he had gone. It is incredible. Who would have thought he could have died from eating chilli sauce? We don’t know of anything else that could have caused his death. The postmortem showed no heart problems.”


Tags: , ,

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Chiles Being Picked

The chiles are being picked now, which is done by hand for most varieties. These photos were taken while other parts of the field were being harvested.

Tags: , ,

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Rio Grande River


Filed in: Misc Images | Comments

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Mesilla Door


Filed in: Misc Images | Comments

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

The Telegraph Arrives in Mesilla – Feb 5, 1879

Completion of the Southern Competing
Transcontinental U. S. Mil. Tel-Line
Congratulations to All
Rates Cheaper
Oh! For Southern Competing Railroad


Denison Tex. 5.

Editor NEWS:

Mesilla, compliments of Denison Texas to citizens of Mesilla N. M. congratulations on completion of direct telegraphic communication over United States Military Telegraph lines.



Mesilla N. M. 10:15 a. m. Feb. 5. ’79

To Lt. Tengle and citizens Denison Texas:

In answer to your telegram accept congratulations of THE MESILLA NEWS and citizens of Mesilla Valley to Lieuts. Tengle and Allen and through them to Signal Service War Department, also to citizens of Denison Texas, on completion of through Southern Competing Transcontinental Telegraph line. Now for Southern competing Transcontinental Railroad.

Ira M. Bond


Denison Tex. 2 – 5.



Denison Tex.


Mesilla 5.

Denison Tex.

Will X. — con mucho gusto,



The above were some of our telegrams sent and received on Feb. 5th [1879], the first day the through, Competing, Transcontinental United States Military Telegraph Line commenced working. The great importance of this line to the business interests of, not only the south and west, but of the whole country, for the present and future can hardly be estimated. The only thing that will surpass it will be when we get a southern competing Transcontinental Railroad, which looks now like it will be in the no distance future. Mesilla now has not only an important signal office, but is the important telegraph center of the Great Southwest. The line works like a charm from Mesilla to Denison Tex., a distance of about one thousand miles, each "click" of the instruments being as it were, simultaneous, though the difference in time being nearly an hour.

THE NEWS made proper mention at the time when Lieut. Allen completed his part of this line, 100 miles east of El Paso, so it only remained for Lieut. Tengle to complete his part in order to make a through connection.

Operator White informs us that the automatic repeaters here work to his entire satisfaction only requiring careful attention, while at they work the repeaters with button. A through message from Denison Texas to San Diego Cal. about 1800 miles will work through repeaters at Fort Concho, Mesilla and Tucson A. T. [Arizona Territory]. There are 80 cells now in the battery here, and batteries at Davis, Concho and Denison.

The rates for sending and receiving all telegrams for all places on the U. S. Mil. Tel. line, to the States via Tex. Route, will be about one half that it is via Santa Fe and Pueblo. Even now telegrams from Albuquerque and Santa Fe for the states are sent via Mesilla and Denison Tex.

Lieut. Allen, supt. of the New Mexico division, U. S. Mil. Tel. has now about 700 miles of line under his charge. We hope he could find it to his advantage to move Headquarters to Mesilla, as it would place him near the center of his duties, as also near the center of his line, instead of way off to one end. The work at this office is already increasing quite rapidly, and we would not be surprised if very soon 2 operators and 2 repairmen were not required at this place.

Oh! For a southern competing Transcontinental railroad. Where the benefit of the competing telegraph is felt by one, the benefits of the railroad would be felt by a thousand and a thousand fold. Come on with your Railroads from north, south, east and west if you want to carry away our millions of wealth, and give us somewhere on the Rio Grande a grand railroad center.

Mesilla News, Feb 8, 1879 (newspaper)


Tags: ,

Filed in: History, Mesilla | Comments

Friday, August 29th, 2008

The Spineless Promise

As noted in this post , Luther Burbank , "The Plant Wizard," developed the spineless cactus with the dream of providing unlimited cattle feed in arid lands. His dream excited many cattlemen, but was never realized. Here’s an article from the 1909 Mesilla/Las Cruces newspaper reflecting that hope.

The Thornless Cactus


"Too much value can not be placed on Burbank’s thornless cactus as a fodder for cattle," was the declaration made by Charles J. Welch, who has a great cattle ranch at Los Binos, in southern California.


Mr. Welch last year planted thousands of the Burbank cactus plants and says they are thriving and growing in every way, as Mr. Burbank said they would.


He and other Los Angeles men are arranging for other large shipments of this plant. Southern Pacific land commissioners are also contemplating planting large areas of Burbank cactus on desert lands along their railroad system.


— Rio Grande Republican, September 3, 1909

Tags: , ,

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Mesilla Museum Display

The opened this evening with a dedication ceremony featuring the Mayor of Mesilla and many Mesilla citizens. A welcome part of the opening ceremony was a display of some of the materials being collected for the Mesilla Museum, which will emphasize the history of Mesilla, including it’s role in the saga.

Billy the Kid was tried in the courthouse on the Mesilla plaza in April, 1881 for two killings. He was acquitted of the killing of Andrew A. “Buckshot” Roberts, which occurred on April 4, 1878. He was convicted of the killing of Sheriff William Brady, which happened a few days before, on April 1, 1878.

The sentence for the killing of Sheriff Brady was death by hanging, to be carried out May 13, 1881. That didn’t happen, of course, because Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln jail 15 days before he was to be hung. The hanging was to be carried out in because that’s where the killing of Sheriff Brady had occurred.

The most intriguing item on display this evening was the barber chair where Billy the Kid was given a haircut before his trial. The chair is privately owned and was being displayed only for the ceremony.

The chair was manufactured in the early 1870s. It was re-covered in the 1980s, before the current owner acquired it. The reupholstering covered up several bullet holes that were in the chair, of unknown origin.

The permanent display in the center includes numerous historical Mesilla photos.

Here’s a photo of the original San Albino church, which was torn down when the current church was constructed in 1908:

Here’s a photo of the consecration of the new San Albino church in 1908:

Here’s a picture of the Mesilla plaza in 1900. The first San Albino can be seen in the distance.

Here’s a picture of the Fountain Theatre taken about 1930:

Tags: , , , ,

See also:
Billy the Kid’s Grave
Did Billy the Kid Stay at La Posta in Mesilla?
Billy the Kid Display – Mesilla
Saving the Pat Garrett Marker
Billy’s DNA
Old Mesilla Courthouse
Billy the Kid
Fountain Theater – History